BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Ontario Reign fell 4-3 in overtime to the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena on Saturday night.
Bakersfield scored the first goal of the night but it didn’t happen until the 3:51 mark of the second period. Gary Steffes was the one behind the shot that beat J.P. Anderson. A hard shot that hit Tyler Bunz up high took him out of the game with Chet Pickard replacing him in the second.
At 11:29 into the second, Rocco Carzo took possession of the puck at the blue line and fired a shot on Pickard, the goalie stopped it but left a rebound for the rookie forward to slam in to tie the game. Maxim Kitsyn and Jonathan Parker helped get the puck out of the Reign and neutral zones to Carzo for the assists.
The Condors took a 2-1 lead 3:36 into the final frame as Steffes lit the lamp for the second time. Former Reign skater Ryan Little assisted Steffes both times. At 12:26 Kitsyn received a feed behind the Condors net and wrapped it around past Pickard to tie it up 2-2. The Condors got the first power-play goal of the evening when Matt Thurber caught Anderson out of position and backhanded it past the Reign goaltender to put Bakersfield up 3-2.
With 2:58 left in regulation, Matt Register rocketed a shot topshelf past the glove of Pickard to tie the game 3-3 marking the third time the Reign scored to even the score throughout the night. Register’s goal extended his point streak to eight games.
The Reign held off the Condors to end regulation but couldn’t hold them off in the overtime frame. Little caught the puck tangled in a Reign defenseman’s feet and with a breakaway chance snapped it clean past Anderson’s glove. This was the first time in 13 games that a Reign game was decided in overtime.
Anderson suffered his first Reign loss with 29 saves; Pickard earned the win with 16 saves. Before taking an early exit, Bunz had nine saves on nine shots.
1. BAK – Ryan Little
2. BAK – Gary Steffes
3. BAK – Matt Thurber